Pat King has about 20 years experience working in Canada’s oil patch.
The Northern Ontario native isn’t on the job now.
He’s part of United We Roll Convoy for Canada, a caravan of transports, work vehicles and personal automobiles that left Red Deer, Alta., last Thursday bound for Ottawa and a protest on Parliament Hill on Tuesday. It’s scheduled to be in Sudbury and North Bay Monday.
Pipeline development is one of several issues participants are championing.
“There’s no jobs,” King told reporters in Sault Ste. Marie at about 8 p.m. Sunday. “It’s been a four-year drought. We’re not turning wheels. We’re not making money. We’re not doing what we do. We’re not providing for the country (through equalization payments). We help everybody out.
“Now Alberta’s hurting. We want help and we’re not getting it. People are moving. People are going home. People have had enough.”
United We Roll Convoy for Canada delivers a message “that we’ve had enough” to the federal government.
“We want the Canadian people to be heard that we’re done with the false promises,” said King. “We’re done with the ideology that we have this mentality that we are going to out-phase oil and gas. You cannot do it the way they did it. They shut our taps off.”
A federal carbon tax will increase the cost of goods and services, he says, but oil imported from other countries won’t be subject to that fee.
Signs posted on some of the convoy vehicles highlighted concerns ranging from opposition to the United Nations, open borders and Bill C-69, proposed federal environmental review legislation.
‘Quit bringing these ISIS members’
King supports “vetted” immigration.
“Quit walking across my border and taking up our programs for our people that it’s been designed for,” he said. “Vet them. Quit bringing these ISIS members.”
King’s grandfather, who fought in the Second World War, would be “turning over in his grave” over how the federal government handles immigration.
“We want immigration,” he said. “We want to bring people to Canada, but let’s take care of Canadians first. Let’s clean up our own backyard before we go cleaning up everybody else’s. Everybody has no problem when Canada comes and cleans up, but now we want help. Let’s get it and they don’t want to give it.”
A second Northern native, Matthew Walmsley, is also part of the convoy.
“I know Canada has become divided and is losing its sovereignty as a nation under the globalization,” said the British Columbia resident.
Walmsley opposes “starving and hungry” Canadian veterans while immigrants who cross the border illegally are put up in hotels “so that they can get a new life established here.”
The father of two wants to “send them back and let them rebuild their lands.
“Let us rebuild ours,” he said.
Walmsley alleges the global banking system, except for three Communist countries, is controlled by the Rothschild banking family “to a point where it’s putting any kind of uniqueness of nationality gone.”
Snopes, an online fact-checking site, notes conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family stretch back to the 1700s.
“While the Rothschild family certainly was one of the world’s most significant financial powers in centuries past, they no longer wield the same sort of influence over global affairs,” the site says.
‘Bring back Canada’
United We Roll Convoy for Canada is bringing a united country to Ottawa “to show our discomfort” with the Liberal government, said Walmsley.
“Not a revolution, but a change, a change to bring Canada back to what it is,” he said. “I’d like to see the kids run the government. I really do. If the children are the ones we are building the world for, let the children bring it together.”
While the convoy enjoyed “great support” in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, “the biggest support” has come from Northern Ontario, said Walmsley.
Wade Woywitka has worked in the energy sector for 32 years. The resident of Vermilion, Alta., has seen a 30 per cent cut in his hourly pay during the last three years.
“Everybody in the province is hurting,” said Woywitka. “There’s no work.”
He’s critical of the federal government and the United Nations for a Canadian oil industry that “is in shambles.
“Right now this country is going to hell in a hand basket and we’ve got to make a change,” said Woywitka. He’s pro-pipeline and anti-carbon tax.
“Every time you turn around they’re putting another tax on us,” said Woywitka.
‘Save the country’
“Phenomenal” public support in the Sault follows convoy travellers being “a little bit disheartened” after leaving Red Deer and seeing “less and less people” as they headed east.
“We didn’t know what to expect when we rolled into Northern Ontario,” said Woywitka. “The way it’s grown into this and people on the side of the roads. I can’t thank Ontario for helping us save the country.”
His political activism started in early December with a Facebook post detailing “how pissed off I am with the government.” Yellow Vest Rebellion was creating following his dispatch.
“It’s about saving a country, making it a great nation again, helping our children and grandchildren,” said Woywitka. “Everyone on this convoy has a different issue they want to deal with in Ottawa. The main issue is uniting Canada, getting everybody on board with us, opening the eyes of the people of what is wrong with our country.”
He’s appreciated the chance to meet “so many amazing people” in the last five days who “I probably wouldn’t have given the time of day to two-and-a-half months ago.
“And now we’re friends,” said Woywitka. “We get along. We talk. I’ve learned so much from these people. It’s amazing. We’re all here for the same reason. We all want to make our country better. The governments are slowly taking everything we have away. If we can wake up all the Canadians we have a chance to do something great and this is the first step.”
Michael Hurley wants Canadians to have referendums to decide major issues such as the carbon tax rather than relying on the votes of elected federal representatives.
“It should be the people having the power, or the say, with referendums,” said the native of Cape Breton who has lived in western Canada since 1997. The resident of Spruce Grove, Alta., is a journeyman ironworker in the energy sector.
Dollars for dictators
Mark Friesen, of Saskatoon, Sask., will be one of the speakers featured at Tuesday’s protest.
He’ll offer “a little bigger scope” than just pipeline development when he talks.
The bigger problem, with a ripple effect on Canada’s energy sector, is a sustainability development agenda advocated by the United Nations.
Dollars from western countries are being redistributed to “dictators, despots, countries that don’t have freedom” and not to the residents of those nations.
“We’re funding foreign aid that isn’t working, but now we have to accept all the migrants in the same countries that we’re trying to help,” said Friesen. “If we focus only on pipelines and energy sector, we may win a few of those battles, but there are so many other issues created by the UN in this agenda. We’re going to be protesting until my kids are long gone … We need to back away from the UN and its agenda. If we can do that all the issues that Canadians are dealing with today, energy, pipelines, carbon tax, migrant pact, for example, those go away.”